Monitor Your Self-Talk

Words and beliefs have the power to change body chemistry. (Think of how the words "I love you" make you feel.) Examine your beliefs about yourself, the world and the future, and determine if any of them need to changing. Examples of irrational and self-defeating beliefs include "It is important for everyone to like me all the time," "I must be perfect in all that I do," "I shouldn't have to suffer," and "It is my fault that I am depressed." Since upsetting feelings come from upsetting ideas, if you question and challenge the beliefs behind your uncomfortable feelings, you can become more and more free of negative emotions.
Many painful feelings are often the result of distorted, negative thinking, known as "cognitive distortions. " Some common distortions are: all-or-nothing thinking (seeing things in black-and-white categories); mental filter (picking out a single negative detail and dwelling on it exclusively); disqualifying the positive; jumping to conclusions (making a negative interpretation, even though there are no definite facts that support the conclusion); mind reading (arbitrarily concluding that someone else is reacting negatively to you without checking it out); emotional reasoning (assuming that negative emotions reflect the way things really are-i.e., "I feel it, therefore it must be true; should statements; and personalization (seeing yourself as the cause of some negative external event which you are not responsible for). Read more...

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